Welcome to our blog where we explore the fascinating world of crystals. Today, we'll delve into the topic of fake and enhanced crystals, shedding light on ways to identify them and build a collection of genuine treasures. While definitive proof may require scientific testing, we can utilise visual cues and other indicators to distinguish questionable crystals. So, let's embark on this enlightening journey together!
Understanding "Fake" and "Enhanced" Crystals:
Let's begin by understanding the distinction between fake and enhanced crystals. Fake crystals masquerade as something they're not, while enhanced crystals are altered to enhance their appearance rather than their inherent healing properties. Enhanced crystals are often subjected to processes like injecting colour dye or baking at high temperatures to give the impression of being entirely different crystals.
Example 1: Baked Citrine:
One such example is baked Citrine. Natural Citrine is rare and highly sought after, leading some traders to create crystals that mimic its appearance. These baked varieties often start as Amethyst points, transformed through intense heat. However, this crucial aspect is often undisclosed during purchase, leaving buyers unaware of the crystal's true nature. Authentic Citrine exhibits distinct warm tones and features smaller baby points at the base, resembling Smokey Quartz.
Example 2: Dyed Agate:
Another case is dyed Agate, where slices are artificially coloured to achieve vibrant hues. These dyed slices can be visually captivating but are not naturally occurring. Unfortunately, they are sometimes presented in a manner that suggests their colours are genuine. While dyed and baked crystals may still emit energy at a molecular level, their crystal vibrations might differ from those of authentic natural Agate.
As you can see in the picture on the left this is an example of natural Agate slice, you can see its clear vibrant earthy colours of browns, oranges and grey tones.
Where if you look to below, these are dyed slices. Although the dyed slices are very lovely to look at they are not natural, and many are sold in such a way that makes you believe these colours occur naturally in Agate.
Example of Agate that has been dyed Pink
Identifying Outright Fakes example3:
Apart from enhanced crystals, there are outright fakes primarily made of glass. These imitations come in various forms like rose quartz points, quartz wands, and opal tumble stones. To spot glass fakes, pay attention to their flawless perfection and warmth when held. Natural crystals, on the other hand, tend to feel cold to the touch regardless of room temperature. Glass fakes often reveal perfect little round bubbles, providing a clear indication of their artificial nature.
Sold as Opalite but this is glass with chemicals injected to give this hue colour (Andrew Barralet)
Lab Grown example 4:
While lab-grown crystals may possess an otherworldly beauty, lab-grown crystals lack the natural essence and ancient energy that emanates from crystals formed over millions of years in the Earth's embrace. These imitations, although visually striking, fail to carry the unique vibrations and healing properties that make natural crystals so cherished. Moreover, the mass production of lab-grown crystals can contribute to a sense of artificiality, undermining the authenticity and rarity that make genuine crystals so treasured. So, while lab-grown crystals may seem alluring, they can never truly replace the magnificence and irreplaceable connection we share with nature's own handcrafted wonders.
Lab grown crystal earings we know this because this seller discloses the fact, still they look pretty good for fake Quartz don't you think?
How can we separate the genuine gems from the cunning fakes?
Enter the heroic Mohs hardness test, ready to save the day! Imagine a crystal claiming to be a diamond but scratches at the slightest touch—total impostor alert! This powerful test, inspired by Friedrich Mohs, allows us to assess a crystal's hardness compared to known minerals on the Mohs hardness scale. It's like a battle of resilience! By scratching our suspect crystal with various minerals, we uncover the truth. If the crystal fails to match the expected hardness, we've exposed a faker! But hold on, crystal adventurers, the Mohs hardness test is just one piece of the puzzle.
Here are some further handy tips:
Visual Inspection: Trust your eyes! Examine the crystal closely for any irregularities or inconsistencies. Watch out for unusual colours, synthetic-looking patterns, or artificial enhancements that seem too perfect to be natural.
Weight and Density: Genuine crystals have a specific weight and density unique to their mineral composition. If a crystal feels unnaturally light or seems suspiciously heavy for its size, it's a red flag that something might be amiss.
Crystal Formation: Nature creates crystals in diverse and intricate formations. Familiarise yourself with the typical growth patterns of different crystals. If a crystal exhibits an unnatural or mass-produced appearance, it's a clear sign of a possible fake.
Transparency and Clarity: True crystals often possess transparency or varying degrees of translucency, allowing light to pass through them. Be cautious if a crystal appears excessively cloudy, hazy, or lacks the characteristic clarity of its supposed gemstone.
Temperature Sensation: Authentic crystals tend to feel cool to the touch, regardless of the room temperature. If a crystal feels warm or quickly adapts to your body temperature, it could indicate a fake, possibly made from glass or resin.
Sound Test: Give the crystal a gentle tap and listen closely. Authentic crystals tend to produce a clear, resonant sound. If the sound is dull or muted, it suggests a potential imitation.
Seek Expert Guidance: When in doubt, consult crystal experts, gemologists, or reputable sources. Their trained eyes and extensive knowledge can provide valuable insights and help differentiate genuine crystals from clever counterfeits.
Remember, these methods work best when used in combination. No single technique guarantees foolproof detection, but by employing a variety of approaches, you'll increase your chances of spotting fake crystals and building a collection of genuine treasures.
In conclusion, while I may not be a geologist, it is clear that the crystal industry requires a long-overdue shake-up. We need standards and regulations similar to the semi-precious gemstone and diamond industry. Measures such as authentication of sourcing, and disclosure of enhancements can help establish a baseline standard for crystals. By implementing these practices, we can minimise the risk of purchasing beautiful glass pieces mistakenly believed to be genuine crystals.
So, fellow crystal enthusiasts, put on your detective hats and venture forth with confidence.